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Cholesterol Side-Chain Cleavage Enzyme: A mitochondrial cytochrome P450 enzyme that catalyzes the side-chain cleavage of C27 cholesterol to C21 pregnenolone in the presence of molecular oxygen and NADPH-FERRIHEMOPROTEIN REDUCTASE. This enzyme, encoded by CYP11A1 gene, catalyzes the breakage between C20 and C22 which is the initial and rate-limiting step in the biosynthesis of various gonadal and adrenal steroid hormones.Pregnenolone: A 21-carbon steroid, derived from CHOLESTEROL and found in steroid hormone-producing tissues. Pregnenolone is the precursor to GONADAL STEROID HORMONES and the adrenal CORTICOSTEROIDS.Adrenodoxin: An iron-sulfur protein which serves as an electron carrier in enzymatic steroid hydroxylation reactions in adrenal cortex mitochondria. The electron transport system which catalyzes this reaction consists of adrenodoxin reductase, NADP, adrenodoxin, and cytochrome P-450.Adrenal Cortex: The outer layer of the adrenal gland. It is derived from MESODERM and comprised of three zones (outer ZONA GLOMERULOSA, middle ZONA FASCICULATA, and inner ZONA RETICULARIS) with each producing various steroids preferentially, such as ALDOSTERONE; HYDROCORTISONE; DEHYDROEPIANDROSTERONE; and ANDROSTENEDIONE. Adrenal cortex function is regulated by pituitary ADRENOCORTICOTROPIN.Steroid 11-beta-Hydroxylase: A mitochondrial cytochrome P450 enzyme that catalyzes the 11-beta-hydroxylation of steroids in the presence of molecular oxygen and NADPH-FERRIHEMOPROTEIN REDUCTASE. This enzyme, encoded by CYP11B1 gene, is important in the synthesis of CORTICOSTERONE and HYDROCORTISONE. Defects in CYP11B1 cause congenital adrenal hyperplasia (ADRENAL HYPERPLASIA, CONGENITAL).Ferredoxin-NADP Reductase: An enzyme that catalyzes the oxidation and reduction of FERREDOXIN or ADRENODOXIN in the presence of NADP. EC 1.18.1.2 was formerly listed as EC 1.6.7.1 and EC 1.6.99.4.Cholesterol: The principal sterol of all higher animals, distributed in body tissues, especially the brain and spinal cord, and in animal fats and oils.Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System: A superfamily of hundreds of closely related HEMEPROTEINS found throughout the phylogenetic spectrum, from animals, plants, fungi, to bacteria. They include numerous complex monooxygenases (MIXED FUNCTION OXYGENASES). In animals, these P-450 enzymes serve two major functions: (1) biosynthesis of steroids, fatty acids, and bile acids; (2) metabolism of endogenous and a wide variety of exogenous substrates, such as toxins and drugs (BIOTRANSFORMATION). They are classified, according to their sequence similarities rather than functions, into CYP gene families (>40% homology) and subfamilies (>59% homology). For example, enzymes from the CYP1, CYP2, and CYP3 gene families are responsible for most drug metabolism.Adrenal Glands: A pair of glands located at the cranial pole of each of the two KIDNEYS. Each adrenal gland is composed of two distinct endocrine tissues with separate embryonic origins, the ADRENAL CORTEX producing STEROIDS and the ADRENAL MEDULLA producing NEUROTRANSMITTERS.Cattle: Domesticated bovine animals of the genus Bos, usually kept on a farm or ranch and used for the production of meat or dairy products or for heavy labor.Oxidoreductases: The class of all enzymes catalyzing oxidoreduction reactions. The substrate that is oxidized is regarded as a hydrogen donor. The systematic name is based on donor:acceptor oxidoreductase. The recommended name will be dehydrogenase, wherever this is possible; as an alternative, reductase can be used. Oxidase is only used in cases where O2 is the acceptor. (Enzyme Nomenclature, 1992, p9)Mitochondria: Semiautonomous, self-reproducing organelles that occur in the cytoplasm of all cells of most, but not all, eukaryotes. Each mitochondrion is surrounded by a double limiting membrane. The inner membrane is highly invaginated, and its projections are called cristae. Mitochondria are the sites of the reactions of oxidative phosphorylation, which result in the formation of ATP. They contain distinctive RIBOSOMES, transfer RNAs (RNA, TRANSFER); AMINO ACYL T RNA SYNTHETASES; and elongation and termination factors. Mitochondria depend upon genes within the nucleus of the cells in which they reside for many essential messenger RNAs (RNA, MESSENGER). Mitochondria are believed to have arisen from aerobic bacteria that established a symbiotic relationship with primitive protoeukaryotes. (King & Stansfield, A Dictionary of Genetics, 4th ed)Steroids: A group of polycyclic compounds closely related biochemically to TERPENES. They include cholesterol, numerous hormones, precursors of certain vitamins, bile acids, alcohols (STEROLS), and certain natural drugs and poisons. Steroids have a common nucleus, a fused, reduced 17-carbon atom ring system, cyclopentanoperhydrophenanthrene. Most steroids also have two methyl groups and an aliphatic side-chain attached to the nucleus. (From Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, 11th ed)Cyclic AMP: An adenine nucleotide containing one phosphate group which is esterified to both the 3'- and 5'-positions of the sugar moiety. It is a second messenger and a key intracellular regulator, functioning as a mediator of activity for a number of hormones, including epinephrine, glucagon, and ACTH.Pregnenes: Unsaturated derivatives of PREGNANES.Kinetics: The rate dynamics in chemical or physical systems.Steroid 17-alpha-Hydroxylase: A microsomal cytochrome P450 enzyme that catalyzes the 17-alpha-hydroxylation of progesterone or pregnenolone and subsequent cleavage of the residual two carbons at C17 in the presence of molecular oxygen and NADPH-FERRIHEMOPROTEIN REDUCTASE. This enzyme, encoded by CYP17 gene, generates precursors for glucocorticoid, androgen, and estrogen synthesis. Defects in CYP17 gene cause congenital adrenal hyperplasia (ADRENAL HYPERPLASIA, CONGENITAL) and abnormal sexual differentiation.3-Hydroxysteroid Dehydrogenases: Catalyze the oxidation of 3-hydroxysteroids to 3-ketosteroids.